Fresh from their set at this years Kendal Calling I have S-Unit and Mike Clipboard in for the guest mix on this months Rotation show on UK Mondo.
S-unit has been on the Sheffield scene for a while now and has played main stage at Tramlines, many high profile Sheffield events and even supported Toddla T on his Australian tour.
I caught up with them both before their guest mix to chat about music, Sheffield and the promotion game.
First up Mike as we have know each other the longest. By my rough calculations you must be heading towards promoting your 1000th event fairly soon with all the years of weekly Tuesday Clubs, Urban Gorilla, Valve, Suckerpunch, Wait, Quality Control plus your recent run of events O2 Academy events. What is it that keeps you pushing on bringing new music to Sheffield?
Mike – Haha I think you’re probably right about the number of shows – oof that makes me feel proud and tired in equal measure! I’ve always been a music fan and keen to share new music I like with anyone who’d listen. So I feel very lucky that a big part of my job has involved bringing acts I love to Sheffield, to a new audience, as well as working with established acts that people in the city are desperate to see.
Can you name a few of the artists that have really stood out for you?
Mike – That’s a big list. From back in the day at TTC, the likes of Quantic Soul Orchestra with Spanky Wilson, Aloe Blacc, DJ Dexter from The Avalanches, Raekwon – they were all awesome shows. Over at Urban Gorilla I got to work with the likes of Booka Shade, Agoria, Josh Wink, Rolando, James Lavelle and tons more. Quality Control meant we could bring DJ Derek and The Reflex to an intimate venue too – there’s been loads of good stuff over the years.
More recently in terms of new stuff on a local level I think KOG & The Zongo Brigade are a great band from Sheffield, Omni Prezidents are making some great hip hop, Steel City Rhythm are getting plays from Rodigan and obviously there’s even more artists breaking on a national level, as Coco has most recently. I also think Baba Naga and Sievehead are great bands and I’m looking forward to hearing more from LOGS too. My musical remit has really opened up since moving to O2 Academy Sheffield, so there’s now more opportunities than ever before for me to work with Sheffield musicians as well as artists on a national and international level. I love my job.
What would be your dream artist/line up to finally get to Sheffield?
Mike – Hahah dream lineup would probably be Stevie Wonder & Chaka Kahn? Or something a bit more realistic would be Kendrik Lamar with Kamasi Washington / Anderson Paak?
Tell me about the Australian show last year. How did that come about and how were they in contrast to back here in the UK?
Sunit – I first met Toddla over 10 years ago now through a bar called Dulo which was a proper hub for people into our kind of music at the time…it wasn’t necessarily a genre thing…just good music & like minded people. We became friends & around the same time he moved down to London his manager moved up to Sheffield. We’d met before & he didn’t know too many people here so we started hanging out & just really hit it off. The three of us always seem to end up having a lot of fun when we get together so it was him who asked if I wanted to come to Australia…it’s a long way & with all three of us going we knew it would make for a memorable trip rather than being just a work thing for T. We did a warm up for each gig & T did a long set & finished things off as only he can. It was a very intense trip…half way round the world for three shows in Perth, Melbourne & Sydney then back home all in the space of a week! The gigs & crowds were all great but they have strange licensing laws over there so things started & were over much earlier in the night than in the UK. I do remember everyone we spoke to at the shows being heavily into Grime which I didn’t expect at all…one guy was so excited to meet Toddla because he had done some work with Skepta & JME & that was literally all he wanted to talk to him about!
Apart from meeting Craig David how was your first Kendal Calling experience?
Sunit – I’ve heard nothing but good things about Kendal from when it first started & my girlfriend went last year & loved it. I have always wanted to go but with one thing & another i never got round to it so to get to play there & experience two days of the festival was great. It’s a beautiful setting, not too big but with loads of hidden stuff to explore, the crowd are friendly, the lineup has something for everyone, the stages are well organised & you can get a good pint for 4 quid…I’d recommend it to anyone looking for something alternative to the more well known big festivals…not that there is anything wrong with those, it’s just nice to know there are other options.
And…Craig David…for various reasons i have a special place in my music collection for ‘born to do it’ even though it may not be something i’d necessarily play out. When he went through what he did a while back & moved to America it became easy to forget what a truly great pop album it is. I’d heard friends say he was the best act they saw at Glastonbury this year & i kind of laughed it off until i saw it for myself. I came back from Kendal completely agreeing…& to top it off he was an incredibly nice man.
When you DJ together what should people expect?
Sunit – Well mainly I’d keep the expectations low…
Jokes aside…just good, fun, soulful music! We have a very similar taste so we compliment each other well…before I met mike properly one of my housemates at uni had this mix CD which she played a lot & i loved it…i had literally every track in my own record collection & it turned out it was by some guy called Clipboard
Listen to the full show here